This is one of those Independence Day editorials that should not be necessary, but, since a few people continue to have their holidays ruined when loved ones are seriously injured on even killed as a result of the careless and improper use of fireworks, it is worth repeating.
State Fire Marshal Bill Swope said those who insist on putting on their own fireworks displays run the risk of not only being injured but also of violating local ordinances and state law.
However, for those who insist on setting off fireworks at home, Swope has some safety tips: Use fireworks outdoors only, obey local laws, keep a bucket of water or working water hose nearby, don’t try to alter fireworks, never relight a “dud” firework and keep a safe distance between the shooter and spectators. Shooters should wear safety glasses, and be completely sober. Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives and report illegal explosives to authorities.
All those are common-sense suggestions, but common sense is not always employed at holiday parties.
Swope has his own suggestion for how to enjoy fireworks: Go to a professional fireworks show like the one that will be on the Ashland riverfront Thursday night. Such shows are far better than any backyard show.